Watersheds & Wetlands

Comparison of Environmental Responses to Watershed Composition

Knowledge about the effects of forest harvest on overall composition is limited to the smallest watershed scale, primarily due to the limits of manipulating entire watersheds. Scaling up from headwater responses is not appropriate given well-documented differences in factors that affect ecosystem function that occur at different scales. Land ownership can be a useful proxy to understand how complex site history affects freshwater systems.

By studying sites that vary in ownership, we can establish a gradient of stand age to better understand effects of intensive stand management on aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems.

We will use 24 sites that span private and public forest ownership to measure aquatic habitat characteristics across a gradient of mean area-weighted stand age.